I made a little angel years ago for our family Christmas tree. This was when we still had a car, and my son (then in his early teens) and I would drive to a Christmas tree farm northeast of Toronto and walk through the cultivated wilderness to search for a whopper of a tree to cut down. We would secure it to the top of the car with bungee cords and as we drove home the snow would begin to fall and it would begin to feel a lot like Christmas.
For many years this angel that I made sat on the tip-top of the central branch of those big trees. Her dress, of stiff, cream-colored satin, is trimmed with gold. And now she fits the top of my non-tree, which I delineate with lights only. No tree. No needles. No watering. Just little bright lights that fall from the ceiling to the corners of a board, making a stylized Christmas tree shape. If I want the smell, I can diffuse a little pine or spruce essential oil, but I usually forget to do that. From outside the house, you really think that you see the branches of a tree hiding there among the lights.
For my angel's hair I made a lot of French knots, the only embroidery stitch I can call up at will. Other stitches have to be researched and followed slavishly. I love to make French knots. The lengthened version of the French knot is called the bullion stitch, but it is easier to embroider the former than the latter.
What more can I tell you about my angel? Are angels Christian, or can they be claimed by anyone? Whether you believe in nature spirits or sky gods or the Great Femininesurely angels transcend the limits of the human imagination. An angel will arrive to help you out even if you don't go to an approved place of worship on Sunday (or any other day). Angels will help you no matter what you believe. They're here to help.
That's the New Age view, to which I sometimes subscribe. On the other hand, that might be a sanitized, namby-pamby view of angels, since I know they can also be fierce and demanding and uncompromising. They can ask things of us that we may not want to give.
I'll keep fierce angels in mind, and I'll hope that I can have a couple working on my behalf. But for Christmas trees I'll continue to use my benign little white satin angel with her French-knot hair and her gold pipe-cleaner halo.